"We are constantly looking at ways to improve the support we provide our Hino customers and felt an initiative of this nature was a great way to improve our technicians’ knowledge base - through a little healthy competition”, said Hino’s General Manager, Darren Salt. Hino hold similar competitions throughout the world.
Heidi Inkster from Truckstops, Wellington stole the show seeing off 27 competitors to take the top prize, with a very consistent effort throughout the competition. Heidi joined Truckstops as a Diesel Technician Apprentice in May 2013 and, after completing her apprenticeship in March 2016, has gone from strength to strength. Heidi, who has an inherent curiosity to learn and is not afraid to call a spade a spade, is a true example of a woman shining in a male dominated industry. Heidi’s boss, Chris Groves, Branch Manager, Truckstops Wellington said "We are very proud for Heidi to represent our busy branch and for her to win the NZ competition is fantastic”.
Simon Wilson, Hino New Zealand’s Technical Support Manager added "We are thrilled to have such a talented female technician supporting Hino in the Truckstops network. We hope Heidi’s success will encourage other females to consider the heavy transport industry as a viable career option”.
The final saw Heidi and second-placed Chito Dimaculangan from Truckstops, Mt Wellington branch competing against the clock, taking turns to complete 3 practical exercises each. In between the practical tests there were also theory tests to complete. "We wanted to test the competitors’ skills and knowledge as well as their ability to work under pressure to a set timeframe much like the challenges our technicians face in our workshops on a daily basis”, says Simon. Bene Prasad from the Truckstops Dunedin branch who came third in the competition, also attended the event as a reserve.
The competition was held at the National Development Centre in Auckland which runs the Truckstops Apprenticeship Program and supports both Hino & Truckstops with targeted, product-specific training programs. Kevin Smith, General Manager of Truckstops points out that "Our Apprenticeship Program enables Truckstops to nurture talented people by providing a clear and rewarding career path across the Truckstops Nationwide network”. Truckstops takes upwards of 14 new apprentices every year.
Heidi will head to Australia on the 21stof August to compete in a trans-Tasman clash against the top Hino Australia technician as well as heading to Hino Japan to observe the global final later this year. In future Hino NZ is hoping that our local winner will be eligible to compete against the best in the world at this event.